Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Eating and drinking difficulties, such as loss of appetite and swallowing problems, are common in dementia, but little is known about the experiences of ethnic minority groups who are managing these difficulties at home. The purpose of our study was to explore the meaning of food, the impact of dementia on eating and drinking, and carers’ experiences of support. We undertook semi-structured interviews with 17 carers and people with dementia from ethnic minority backgrounds living in England, using thematic analysis to analyse the data. Food/drink had strong links to identity, culture and emotions. Providing culturally familiar foods, celebrating traditional festivals and supporting previous food-related roles promoted reminiscence, which encouraged the people living with dementia to eat and drink, as did social interactions, although these could lead to distress in those with more advanced dementia. Food choices were also influenced by carer strain, generational differences and the impact of health conditions. Despite a strong sense of duty to care for relatives at home, there was low awareness of community support services. The carers expressed a need for culturally tailored support for managing dementia-related eating and drinking difficulties at home. Healthcare professionals must provide contextually relevant advice to carers, being mindful of how cultural backgrounds can affect dietary choices

Original publication

DOI

https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14122395

Type

Journal article

Journal

Nutrients

Issue

12

Publisher

MDPI

Publication Date

09/06/2022

Volume

14

Addresses

SPCR Project number: 489 , PI: Pushpa Nair

Keywords

nutrition; hydration; dementia; eating; drinking; food; ethnic minorities; culture